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Investment Climate of Assam

 

   At the time of India's independence, Assam was relatively a land of plenty. It was not only among the better administered states, the per capita State Domestic Product was way above the average in the country as a whole and the relevant social indices ranked the State at a higher level in the ladder of social development. The primary sector was buoyant, the process industries and the plantation sector were efficiently run. The State was near self sufficient in its requirement of primary products and above all, poverty and unemployment was not of great concern then. With India attaining its independence and resultant physical partition, the traditional trade and commerce linkages with Assam's hinterland got snapped and along with the entire North East, Assam was reduced to a landlocked cocoon. Before India's attaining independence Assam served as a conduit in the big integrated market with erstwhile East Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar besides other neighboring states. The economic activities were greatly reduced after independence. Assam's progress has been rather halting and tenuous especially in the 80s' and 90s' for various reasons. But now Assam is "Emerging"

Today the State embarks on the new charter in the path of development, laying emphasis on new capital formation through the creation of ecologically compliant assets in a sustainable manner.

The focus of the growing investment climate today is to build the economy on the core strengths of this region so that the resources can be managed efficiently. The recognized core strengths of the State today are its nature, water, agriculture, human resources and geographical location.

The State inspires the new decade with encouraging atmosphere of Industrialization. It lays emphasis on "Clean Development Mechanism" as an investment proposition. The State Government is projecting an alternative approach to economic development by fostering interdependence between nature and economics for which the concept of 'Green Accounting (valuing nature assets)' is sought to be introduced to supplement the State's Gross State Domestic Product. The Green Accounting statistics are necessary for measuring the sustainability of Assam's economy in quantitative and monetary terms. The new thrust would track the gains and losses of Assam's natural capital including estimates for the values embedded in our fresh water quality, forest biomass carbons storage and carbon sequestration, bio diversity, bio prospecting, eco-tourism, timber and fuel and non-timber forest products. The new thrust also would track the gains and losses in our human capital including the values of education at all level and the future liability and health impacts of pollution. The new approach would cover estimates of annual losses of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere through deforestation and thinning of forest biomass so that Assam can benefit from significant compensation through future variations of the Kyoto protocol. The new thrust has been given to enable the Government of Assam to make appropriate economic policy choices informed by a fair valuation of the many un-traded services of our natural eco-system including all their unaccounted benefits that do not at present enter GSDP and GDP accounts.

The present Government recognizes that the development and progress of the State will depend largely on the intensive and faster growth of the Rural Economy - primarily income multiplication by inducing multi-cropping in the agricultural sector and the development of agro based services and investment involving larger participation of the people, meaningfully contributing to the State's economic health and prosperity. The other equally important area is the rapid and well co-ordinate growth in the infrastructure sector to accelerate natural development where the state holds a very big potential.

The State Government acknowledges that only an open and inclusive society can bring rich dividends to our state. A society that shuts its door to the outer world is bound to lag behind - a small state becomes big when it embraces the world.